Biographies have risen in popularity significantly in recent years. Amongst the signs of this increased popularity is the growing number of biographies that have been published as dissertations. As a response to this development the Biography Institute within the University of Groningen was installed in 2004. A chair in biography was founded on 1 March 2007.
The Biography Institute is associated with the Faculty of Arts. The Biography Institute has the following objectives:
– to offer an infrastructure and specific support to graduate students conducting biographical research and writing biographies
– to stimulate the development of theoretical perspectives on biography as an academic genre
The Biography Institute supervises graduate students preparing PhD’s, as well as undergraduate students writing master theses or taking part in research classes within the domain of biography. So far, seven biographies have been succesfully supervised as PhD thesis. In the academic year 2010-2011 a new course of lectures has been designed titled ‘Historical Approach to Biography’, intended for master students of the Faculty of Arts.
With regard to the development of theoretical perspectives on biography the Biography Institute aims at organizing conferences and symposia and at publishing biographies, conference proceedings and academic articles. Ten conferences already have been (co)organized by the Institute so far. For more information about the Biography Institute, see the latest annual report in English.